synchronizing two macs

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Art Werschulz, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Hi.

    What do people recommend for synchronizing two Macs?

    I use an iMac and my wife uses a MacBook. We're going to swap Macs when I go on a trip in August. Is there a Mac-ish way to copy my home directory from one machine to the other? (I could always use a recursive cp, making sure to copy dotfiles and maintain access dates. I was just curious about something simpler.)

    Art Werschulz, Jun 24, 2010
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  2. You should say how much drive space, and free drive space on both
    machines; also whether this is permanent or you'll be switching back. Do
    either of you have extensive image or music files?
    John McWilliams, Jun 24, 2010
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  3. Use migration assistant.
    Michelle Steiner, Jun 24, 2010
  4. Art Werschulz

    Wes Groleau Guest

    Or drag and drop
    Wes Groleau, Jun 24, 2010
  5. Art Werschulz

    Guest Guest

    Or if you don't need to swap everything but just want to have
    some stuff synchronized between the two machines, use DropBox.

    I use both a laptop and a desktop machine and anything I want
    access to on both, I keep in Dropbox.

    It has the added benefit of giving me offsite backup.
    Guest, Jun 24, 2010
  6. Hi.

    Does drag-n-drop also move dotfiles?
    Art Werschulz, Jun 24, 2010
  7. More simple than cp? Is that too difficult for you, really?

    Try rsync.
    johnny bobby bee, Jun 24, 2010
  8. Art Werschulz

    Warren Oates Guest

    No. But rsync will.
    Warren Oates, Jun 24, 2010
  9. Art Werschulz

    AES Guest

    For some time now I've been operating two MacBooks: a primary (that I
    use as working machine) and a standby (that's there but not used).

    Once a week (or following any major software upgrades or addition of
    mjor new data files) the primary gets cloned to the standby using
    SuperDuper! and Target Disk mode on the standby (the primary also gets
    backed up daily to an external HD). Object of this exercise is to
    always have the standby available for instantaneous replacement, with
    exactly the same software, prefs settings, etc., and no delay, if the
    primary fails (which has happened twice in past 4 years).

    Whether you could do something like this with your MacBook, iMac, and a
    temporary third machine -- hard to say.
    AES, Jun 24, 2010
  10. No. But you'll get better answers if you provide more information.
    John McWilliams, Jun 24, 2010
  11. Art Werschulz

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Does it copy ACLs as well?
    Tom Stiller, Jun 24, 2010
  12. Hi.

    Not at all. It's more a matter of curiosity, as to whether there's a
    Mac-ish way of doing this. It's not as if this is an uncommon task.
    (BTW, if I'm reading the manpage correctly, "cp -R" isn't nice WRT hard
    links on Mac OS X.)
    See above.
    Art Werschulz, Jun 24, 2010
  13. Art Werschulz

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Tom Stiller, Jun 24, 2010
  14. Art Werschulz

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Calum's right. The "usage" display for the supplied rsync verifies it.
    Tom Stiller, Jun 24, 2010
  15. Probably Apple donated their changes, and they were incorporated into
    the public version 3.0.
    Barry Margolin, Jun 25, 2010
  16. Art Werschulz

    Wes Groleau Guest

    You can't drag a file you can't see.
    But if you drag a directory to another volume,
    it's dot-files won't be omitted from the copying that follows.
    Wes Groleau, Jun 25, 2010
  17. Art Werschulz

    Warren Oates Guest

    The newest versions do.
    Warren Oates, Jun 25, 2010
  18. Art Werschulz

    Warren Oates Guest

    It's lying. You need a suitably patched 3.0.x
    Warren Oates, Jun 25, 2010
  19. Art Werschulz

    Fred Moore Guest

    Except if you don't have sufficient permissions for the dot-files or
    other files within the selected folder. Then they will be left behind
    with no warning to you. Surprisingly there are a number of files within
    your home folder to which the user does not have full access/control.

    sudo rsync, with the appropriate arguments _will_ do the trick however.

    Disclaimer: I'm a UNIX kindergartener, so take my UNIX comments
    accordingly. However, I have struggled with this folder copying in the
    past, so I do have some experience with it.
    Fred Moore, Jun 25, 2010
  20. Art Werschulz

    Warren Oates Guest

    I use cron to run rsync, and cron will happily email me the verbose (as
    verbose as I ask for) output from rsync, saying what it's been up to.

    Umm, er, thanks, btw, I just checked, and there's some problem with one
    of the oul' Woman's volumes ... hmm, I think my wake-on-LAN script
    isn't waking up the volume in time.
    Warren Oates, Jun 25, 2010
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